Following on from a judgment made by The Court of Justice of the European Communities


This appeal considered whether the appellant’s scheme of charging fees for licensing sex shops in Soho, including those operated by the respondents, is permitted by Directive 2006/123/EC on Services in the Internal Market, as implemented by The Provision of Services Regulations 2009.

The Supreme Court unanimously held that in so far as the appellant has determined a reasonable fee, including enforcement costs, it is entitled to be paid or repaid it now by the respondents (according to the pro rata sums actually received by each respondent). The issue of the reasonableness of the sum identified as enforcement costs is to be remitted to the Administrative Court. The Court considered that the appellant’s scheme was only defective in so far as it required payment up front at the time of the application as EU law permits a fee covering enforcement costs becoming due upon the grant of a licence. As a matter of both EU and domestic law, the Court considered there to be no imperative to treat the whole scheme as invalid, rather than to invalidate it to the extent of the inconsistency.

For judgment, please download: [2017] UKSC 50
For Court’s press summary, please download: Court’s Press Summary
For a non-PDF version of the judgment, please visit: BAILII

To watch the hearing, please visit: Supreme Court Website (11 May 2017 morning session)